Poh in Hong Kong

Why the MasterChef 2024 Hong Kong trip became a “full circle moment” for Poh Ling Yeow

What a journey!

MasterChef Australia 2024‘s Poh Ling Yeow has come a long way since being a contestant in the first Australian season of the series fifteen years ago.

The popular contestant — who has appeared in two seasons — is now a Judge alongside Andy Allen, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Sofia Levin, in an iteration touted as “unlike any other“.

While an honour in itself, the 50-year-old admitted she had come “full circle” given that she finally got to experience something she missed out on all those years ago.

During her first season, Poh was eliminated during a Taste Test; however, returned to the show a few weeks later. Unfortunately for her, during the two weeks she was gone, the rest of the cast had headed to Hong Kong to participate in a series of cooking challenges.

Now, in an interview with Chattr before the 2024 season premiere, Poh revealed her delight in being able to join the MasterChef crew in Hong Kong earlier this year.

The MasterChef 2024 judges in Hong Kong. Ten.

“That’s another little full circle moment for me,” she said. “Because I actually got eliminated before we went to Hong Kong in season one and then I came back as a wildcard.”

“I was really thrilled. It was amazing – we ate our heads off,” she laughed about her time in the bustling city in 2024. “There’s almost no bad food to be had. Even when something is not great, it’s still really good.”

Poh explains why “this is a season unlike any other”

Given this season of MasterChef Australia 2024 is unlike anything we’ve seen, Poh puts that down to several things.

“It’s inherent in the fact that there’s three new judges,” she explained. “We’re bringing a very different culture to the show, by way of our personalities.”

MasterChef judges 2024
The MasterChef Australia 2024 cast. Ten.

Poh added that the contestants cast this year also play into why she expects this season to be so successful.

“I feel like it’s also related to the crop of contestants that we have this year. I feel so grateful that it’s them because I felt supported by them as much as I supported them.”

“It’s just a mood,” she added. “I feel like it’s very positive.”

Further to this, the season will also return to its much-loved roots.

“We are back to home cooking,” she said. “I feel like we’re not doing too much fancy pants cooking.”

“The Pressure Tests always deliver that, because you need that drama. But apart from that, I feel like we’ve really pulled back into more regular home cooking that people can relate to, which is something that’s really important to me.”

“That’s how we started and I feel like that’s where we should stay because we need people to be able to relate to the food,” she said.

About Poh Ling Yeow

As runner-up in the first-ever season of MasterChef Australia, Poh is proof that you don’t need to win, to win!

By her own acknowledgement, there is a part of Poh that will always belong on the contestant side – making her the perfect mentor and guide for this year’s budding home cooks.

Watch MasterChef Australia 2024 on 10 and 10Play.

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